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After all things ugly, social media is going crazy for the 'weird girl' aesthetic

The extreme minimalism that emerged at the same time as the Covid-19 pandemic seems to have had its day, giving way to greater eccentricity

Published: Jun 16, 2022 05:01:04 PM IST
Updated: Jun 16, 2022 05:30:03 PM IST

After all things ugly, social media is going crazy for the 'weird girl' aestheticThe "weird girl aesthetic" embodied here by the model and influencer, Bella Hadid. Image: bellahadid / Instagram

It's goodbye to diktats and conventions, and hello to boundless freedom in fashion with the "weird girl aesthetic," which is taking over social networks as well as women's wardrobes. The idea? Mixing without restraint all the styles that have been swirling round the fashion sphere since the beginning of the pandemic, from cottagecore to fetishcore through cabincore or the now famous Y2K aesthetic. More than ever, it's time to get creative.

The extreme minimalism that emerged at the same time as the Covid-19 pandemic seems to have had its day, giving way to greater eccentricity. We saw it last year with the rise of all things ugly and uncool, but what is emerging today under the name of the "weird girl aesthetic" looks more like an ode to maximalism, extravagance, more is more, and perhaps especially to a desire to break free from the kinds of "rules" seen over and again in fashion.

A stylistic melting pot

So what is this new phenomenon that is so popular on social networks, with nearly 110 million views for the #weirdgirl hashtag? It is an aesthetic in which everything and anything goes, a look that does not encourage people to follow trends, and which does not stick to the codes established on the catwalks or red carpets. If you think you have no sense of style, or you constantly waver between two aesthetics, you have probably already adopted the "weird girl aesthetic" without even knowing it, much like Bella Hadid.

It's even more about letting your imagination and creativity run wild, without worrying about what people will say. On social networks, Bella Hadid is one of the celebrities who concoct looks inspired not by one, but by an accumulation of micro-trends, mixing colors, patterns, materials and styles without restraint.

One Twitter user, Kaia Geber, asked: "The weird girl aesthetic. Is it anti-fashion? Are people trying too hard just to look ugly? Does it only work on Bella Hadid?" To which many responded that this was the worst aesthetic in the history of fashion. And you have to admit that the very name of this phenomenon is not the most flattering, labeling a style that precisely does not follow rules or even have rules, as if fashion always has to impose a framework to follow.

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Inspired by Harajuku

This new aesthetic translates into vibrant, if not to say flashy looks, featuring layered pieces, none of which bear any real relation to each other. It's a cocktail of patterns, mashed up with quirky (or kitsch) bags, and an abundance of accessories. The look is actually inspired by Harajuku style, named after a Tokyo neighborhood known for its ultra-colorful urban artworks, as well as the sartorial aesthetic of those who stroll there daily. A hotbed of fashion, this district's style is actually anything but anti-fashion—perhaps maximalist, OTT, non-conformist (then again...)—but resolutely turned towards self-expression.

Contrary to the micro-trends spotted in recent months, this phenomenon is not fleeting. It simply reflects a desire to free oneself from certain shackles, from certain codes, which do not fit—or no longer fit—with people's desire to express their personality or their mood of the moment. Ultimately, it's a style that's not so weird after all, and which, in fact, probably tends to adhere to the tastes and preferences of most people.

After all things ugly, social media is going crazy for the 'weird girl' aesthetic